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  1. Synthetic Fabrics 101: Is Nylon Durable?

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    Nylon is a type of synthetic fabric that is made from polymers known as polyamides. The DuPont chemical company first developed it in the 1930s, and it has since become one of the most widely used synthetic fabrics. Popular for various applications, it is known for its exceptional strength, durability, and abrasion resistance. It is also lightweight and has excellent elasticity.

    This article will delve into synthetic fabrics and compare nylon with two other popular materials: polyester and polyamide. We will explore this textile’s unique advantages and applications and highlight its competitive edge over these alternatives.

    Nylon vs. Polyester

    Nylon and polyester are two commonly used synthetic fabrics with distinct performance attributes. One notable difference lies in their durability and abrasion resistance. Nylon outperforms polyester in terms of its ability to withstand damage and external forces, making it suitable for applications requiring high durability. Furthermore, nylon’s superior resistance to oils and chemicals is advantageous in settings where such elements are likely present.

    Additionally, nylon carpets are generally considered more durable than polyester ones. Nylon’s strength and ability to resist considerable foot activity make it the preferred choice for high-traffic areas. As a result, these textiles have a longer lifespan and retain their appearance and performance even after extensive periods of regular use.

    Nylon vs. Polyamide

    Nylon and polyamides are closely related terms, as nylon is a specific type of polyamide. Both materials are polymers, but the main distinction is their composition. While nylon is an exclusively manufactured synthetic, polyamides can be derived from natural sources or produced synthetically. Natural sources include proteins, plant oils, silk, wool, animal hairs, chitin, and cellulose.

    Nylon surpasses polyamide in moisture and rain resistance. Polyamides have hydrophilic properties, indicating a lower intrinsic water resistance.

    How Durable Is Nylon?

    Nylon offers several advantages that have propelled its popularity across various industries. The following benefits distinguish it as a material of choice for many applications:

    Rugged Durability

    Rugged durability is the materials ability to withstand harsh conditions, rough handling, and extensive use without experiencing significant wear. This property results from nylons unique molecular structure and composition. The long-chain polyamide molecules form a tightly woven network that offers high tensile strength and resilience.

    Stretch and Elasticity

    Stretch is the ability of a material to elongate under strain, whereas elasticity is its capacity to return to its original shape. The polyamide molecules in nylon can be easily stretched and reconfigured, allowing the fabric to elongate without permanent deformation. In clothing, it provides a comfortable and form-fitting comfort. This allows the material to move with the body without restricting mobility.

    Heat and Water Resistance

    Nylon’s heat resistance ensures its structural integrity and performance even under challenging thermal conditions. This property is beneficial for applications where exposure to heat is likely, such as automotive engine components and electrical insulation. Nylon fibers also have inherent hydrophobic properties, meaning they repel water and are less prone to absorbing moisture.

    Melting Capabilities

    Nylon exhibits melting capabilities, so it softens and liquefies rather than ignite or burn when subjected to elevated temperatures. Once the melting point is reached, the molecular bonds within the structure weaken, enabling the material to transition into a molten state. This feature is valuable in applications where fire safety is a concern, as its melting behavior can help prevent the spread of flames.

    Ease of Production

    The availability of raw materials used in production, such as adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine, ensures a consistent supply chain for nylon-based textiles. Its synthesis can also be efficiently achieved through various industrial processes, which allows large-scale production and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, it has a well-established manufacturing procedure that can be carried out using different techniques.

    Applications of Nylon

    With its wide range of applications, nylon is a useful fiber in various industries. It can be employed to create a wide range of items, from toothbrush bristles to specialized products like instrument strings, carpeting, and bridal veils. Here are its other applications in multiple sectors:

    • Backpack
    • HorseblanketsTents
    • Protective Gear
    • Knee Pads
    • Tactical Kit
    • Safety Helmet Covers

    Nylon Products From HLC Industries

    HLC Industries offers a range of nylon products, including woven fabrics and tactical textiles. Our materials are available in various weights, weaves, and finishes, allowing for customization based on specific requirements. We also ensure they are engineered to meet the rigorous demands of multiple industries, including military, law enforcement, and outdoor gear.

    Contact us today for more information!

  2. What are NIR-Compliant Fabrics?

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    Click to ExpandWhat-are-NIR-Compliant-Fabrics

    HLC Industries has been supplying lining and pocket material for the men’s garment and textile industry since its founding in 1916. With more than a century of experience, we can deliver quality fabrics to customers in the US and worldwide. We continuously strive to improve our quality and service to ensure we provide products that meet or exceed your expectations and requirements.

    During World War II, HLC Industries provided uniform materials to the US Military and continue to serve military and commercial applications with our NIR-compliant fabrics. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of NIR compliance as well as how to make NIR-compliant fabrics.

    What Is NIR Compliance?

    Fabrics with NIR compliance are specialized textiles used in manufacturing military uniforms. NIR-compliant fabrics mimic radiation levels surrounding the wearer, making them less visible to infrared sight technology, such as night vision, thermal vision, or thermal imaging. Infrared sight methods are used to spot people in darkness or low-light environments; therefore, NIR-compliant fabrics are crucial in hiding troops from enemies and threats.

    Why Is NIR Compliance Important?

    NIR-compliant fabric is vital to military personnel in tactical situations due to its detection-avoidance capabilities. Because clothing covers most of the body, it plays an essential role in detection avoidance. Not only does NIR-compliant military clothing protect against environmental conditions such as wind, sun, and rain, but it also serves as a foundation upon which a camouflage pattern can be applied. By implementing NIR-compliant fabric into traditional military uniforms, you can adapt them to enhance their concealment and protection abilities.

    How Clothing Is Made NIR Compliant

    All NIR-compliant clothing begins with the base fabric. A common base fabric for military uniforms is Nylon, due to its durability, comfort, and high performance. There are various methods available to improve these fabrics and make them NIR-compliant. These methods include:

    • Modification by additives
    • Physical modification
    • Surface modification

    NIR spectroscopy is often used to analyze a fabric’s chemical bonds and composition. Chemical bonds are a primary factor when it comes to absorption regions and can be modified to increase fabric utility and achieve near-perfect camouflage.

    The military relies on our OCPX-Scorpion W-2 commercial fabric for its camouflage pattern. Our inventory of OCPX-Scorpion W-2 commercial fabric is polyurethane-coated in 330D, 500D, and 1000D, featuring a DWR class 3 finish. All of these materials meet NIR compliance for spectral reflectance properties.

    NIR Compliant Fabrics From HLC Industries

    NIR-compliant fabrics play a key role in military uniforms, offering a protective textile solution designed to prevent wearers from being detected via infrared sight technologies. Because of its detection-avoidance capabilities and other protective properties, this type of fabric is extremely important to tactical operations within the military industry.

    At HLC Industries, we understand the importance of NIR-compliant fabrics and strive to deliver high-quality textile solutions to meet harsh military demands. Specializing in lightweight to heavyweight woven Nylon textiles, we can provide custom-engineered fabrics for many specific applications. We can serve the textile needs of manufacturers and contractors who supply the US Armed Forces as well as global militaries. For more information about our NIR-compliant fabric solutions, contact us or call 800.220.3104 today.

  3. What Is CORDURA® Fabric?

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    CORDURA® fabric is a highly sought-after textile for apparel and tactical or outdoor gear because of its strength, durability, and resistance properties. With its ability to meet the challenges of rugged applications, this high-performance fabric is useful for the composition of products like backpacks, luggage, military gear, and other outdoor wear. Also, as fashion trends and garment technology move towards sustainability, environmentally friendly materials such as CORDURA fabric are becoming more popular. Learn more about the origins of CORDURA, what it comprises, its applications, and where to source it.

    Cordura Fabric

    CORDURA Fabric Origins

    Today, CORDURA® is a registered trademark of Invista, but its history spans more than fifty years. In 1967, the CORDURA brand debuted its first fabric offering, introducing a highly durable variety of nylon: Nylon 6.6 fiber. By the 1970s, manufacturers like Eastpak, Jansport, and Kelty started using CORDURA in their product lines for its high durability and tear resistance, breathability, and capabilities for UV protection and water repellency.

    CORDURA broke into the urban wear market in the 1980s. Then in the ’90s, CORDURA became increasingly popular as a high-performance fabric, with the U.S. military and companies like Carharrt utilizing CORDURA for tactical apparel and outerwear, and the brand began offering a line of dyed nylon yarn for enhanced color options. Over the last few decades, CORDURA has evidenced its commitment to eco-consciousness and innovation, with recycled polyester yarn and upgraded fabrics like mesh knits with better tensile strength. The textile continues to be prized for military and workwear, backpacks, duffels, and luggage.

    CORDURA Fabric: What’s It Made Of?

    CORDURA is a synthetic textile made from Nylon 6.6 fiber or a blend of cotton and other natural fibers. Nylon, in general, is a high-quality material due to its stiffness and hardness. It also has supreme toughness, particularly given its lightweight, with resistance to heat, fatigue, abrasion, and general wear.

    Although Nylon 6 is also common in industrial textile applications, manufacturers choose Nylon 6.6 for its greater resistance capabilities. Nylon 6 exhibits a higher rate of water absorption, a lower melting point, and suboptimal resistance to acids as compared to Nylon 6.6. Elasticity is another beneficial property of Nylon 6.6. Considering its wealth of advantages, Nylon 6.6 is perfect for rugged or high-tech applications in which dependable durability is paramount, such as military, work, or outdoor apparel, as well as carpets, tires, airbags, parachutes, and much more.

    CORDURA Fabric Applications

    While CORDURA has a multitude of uses due to its versatility, some of the most common applications include:

      • Work apparel. Manufacturers use this fabric to make work apparel such as jackets, Dickies and Carhartt pants, overalls, and safety clothing because of its high tear resistance and water repellency.
    • Military apparel. CORDURA provides rugged strength in military boots, ponchos, body armor, tactical gear, and other Mil-Spec wearables for military applications. 
      • Backpacks. CORDURA makes high-quality backpacks for rugged outdoor or adventure applications because it is tough, lightweight, and has a durable finish.
    • Soft-sided luggage. Duffels, suitcases, and more capitalize on the abrasion resistance and tensile strength that CORDURA offers.

    What Is CORDURA Ballistic Fabric?

    A higher-performance alternative to CORDURA, ballistic CORDURA is a tightly woven fabric made with high-tenacity Nylon 6.6. This fabric offers superior durability and resistance to tearing and abrasion, making it ideal for military applications, as well as work apparel, bags, footwear, and motorcycle gear. While it offers supreme tensile strength with an optimal strength-to-weight ratio, manufacturers can also coat or laminate it for added protection or enhanced properties.

    CORDURA Fabric From HLC Industries

    HLC Industries, Inc. has been supplying light- and heavy-weight textiles to diverse industries since 1916. As an ISO 9001:2015-certified manufacturer of nylon woven fabrics, we produce our innovative products in the USA and maintain Berry Amendment Compliance. HLC Industries also offers military-grade fabrics for added reliability in critical applications. Our fabrics range in weight from 1.1 oz. to 12.0 oz. to best serve our customers’ unique projects.

    If you’re looking for high-quality, American-made fabric solutions, review our product catalog for more information on our offerings, or request a quote today.

  4. Industrial Textile Fabrics: Specifications and Applications

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    Industrial textile manufacturers utilize fiber as the underlying composition for their fabrics. Given the wide array of options for fiber creation and the treatment processes available to manufacturers, companies can create versatile fabrics with features tailored to a customer’s specific application.

    industrial textile fabrics


    Fibers are long, thin materials that manufacturers spin to bond into yarn. The fibers that manufacturers choose for this process can imbue the resulting fabric with certain functional qualities, such as durability, breathability, electrical conductivity, and thermal insulation, as well as aesthetic qualities like drape and shine. These fibers come in natural and synthetic options, each having its own advantages.

    Natural vs. Synthetic Fibers

    Composed of renewable animal (protein) or plant (cellulose) material, natural fibers such as wool and cotton are structurally strong, chemically resistant materials. Their stiffness also lends natural fibers to applications requiring bending stiffness. However, natural fibers are less durable than synthetics and can have market price fluctuations. To help fabrics hold up over time, then, manufacturers can put the material through fiber treatments.

    Synthetic fibers are chemically processed polymers that are reliably strong and durable as manufactured yarn, woven textiles, bulk fibers, and other products. While they also provide resistance against chemicals, these fibers can melt under heat and have adverse environmental implications. 

    Industrial Textiles: Types and Specifications

    With all the custom fabrics and fiber treatments available, it is important to choose an industrial material with features that best serve your needs.

    Fiber and Fabric Types

    • Batting. Batting comes in sheets of thick, loosely webbed fiber layers for thermal applications like bedding or liners.
    • Monofilaments. Manufacturers utilize monofilament threads, a single spooled strand of fiber or filament, for woven or knit textiles.
    • Natural. Natural plant- or animal-based fabrics include cotton, linen, wool, and silk.
    • Rope and cordage. Cordage is composed of twisted yarn strands, with rope being a more durable type of cordage.
    • Roving. This fabric consists of continuous filaments in tows.
    • Sleeving. Sleevings are insulating fabric wraps that manufacturers make from braided, woven, or knit fibers.
    • Thread. Thread comes in mono- or multi-fiber filament constructions of twisted yarn for sewing.
    • Webbing. Webbing is an unravelable fabric manufactured as ribbons, tapes, or straps of textile fibers.
    • Yarn. Manufacturers generate yarns with standards of interlocked fiber filaments or fabrics and they are available in a wide range of plies for weaving, knitting, and more.

    Fabric Characteristics and Features

    Manufacturers can custom-make industrial textile fabrics to be:

    • Absorbent. Manufacturers can treat signature fabrics to enhance moisture absorption.
    • Waterproof. Alternatively, waterproof fabrics won’t degrade in the presence of water but repel it.
    • Insulators. Industrial textiles can provide thermal insulation, electrical or dielectric insulation, and soundproofing capabilities.
    • Resistant to chemicals and flame. Some materials naturally resist chemicals or fuel, or manufacturers can enhance this resistance with coatings or treatments. Also, flame-retardant fabric resists igniting and can slow the spread of fire.
    • Resistant to environmental conditions. In addition to moisture resistance, fabrics with UV treatments won’t degrade when exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light, making them ideal for exterior applications. Fabrics can potentially withstand temperature fluctuations as well.
    • Electrically conductive. Conductive fabrics are useful in anti-static or electrostatic discharge (ESD) applications, offering low levels of electrical resistance.

    Industrial Textile Fabric Applications

    Manufacturers customize industrial fabrics for applications in a wide array of industrial sectors, including:

    • Aerospace
    • Automotive
    • Chemical
    • Clothing
    • Construction
    • Electrical
    • Healthcare
    • Marine

    Industrial Textile Fabrics From HLC Industries, Inc.

    At HLC Industries, we produce high-quality industrial textile fabrics for use across a diverse array of industries and applications. Some of the fabrics we provide include:

    • Mil-Spec fabrics. Our fabrics are Berry Amendment-compliant and we can custom-engineer them to meet Mil-Spec standards for military applications.
    • Tactical nylon fabrics. We have light- and heavy-weight weave options in our nylon fabrics for high-tech applications.
    • Parachute fabrics. We produce specialty fabrics for military and commercial parachutes.
    • Commercial fabrics. We manufacture textiles in various weights and weaves with anti-static, anti-microbial, fire-retardant, nIR, and other enhancements.
    • INVISTA™ CORDURA® fabrics. These solution-dyed fabrics have a water-repellent finish for nIR spectral reflectance.
    • Commercial OCPX camouflage fabrics. These fabrics meet MIL-DTL-32439B specs, with polyurethane fibers and a water-repellent finish.

    Learn More About Industrial Textile Fabrics From HLC Industries

    HLC Industries is an ISO 9001:2015-certified company that produces Berry Amendment-compliant industrial textile fabrics in the USA. Contact us today to learn more about our 1.1-ounce to 12.0-ounce nylon woven fabrics or to request a quote and start your order.

  5. Berry Compliant Fabric Overview

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    Berry Compliant fabrics are necessary for manufacturers entering into contracts with the Department of Defense (DoD). The Berry Amendment outlines requirements for purchasing U.S.-produced textiles to support domestic industry. Learning more about what Berry Compliance is and why it matters can help you choose the right material for your application.

    berry compliant fabric

    Berry Compliance Definition and History

    The Berry Amendment is a statutory requirement that Congress passed in 1941 mandating that DoD projects use materials that are made or processed in the U.S. This requirement was originally meant to protect U.S. textile interests during times of war, and it still applies today, for products such as tools, food, tents, clothing, and other textiles.

    If you are manufacturing products for use by the DoD—or you’re fulfilling a contract that uses DoD funding—the materials you choose typically need to be Berry Compliant. Companies that have DoD contracts must certify that their goods are 100% domestically produced. 

    However, there are exceptions. Purchases might be exempt if they are for small contracts totaling below a defined minimum, contracts providing emergency products or perishable items to personnel abroad, production contracts with allies, and contracts that can’t be compliant because of a product’s domestic unavailability.

    What Is Berry Compliant Fabric?

    For a fabric to be Berry Compliant, that fabric and its components (such as the yarns and fibers, fabrics, and other textiles used to make the material) must have been domestically grown, made, or processed. As the U.S. has a diverse agricultural and industrial sector, a lot of different fabrics can be Berry Compliant. Some examples are:

    •     Clothing, to include outerwear, hats, belts, shoes, hose, and undergarments
    •     Coated synthetic fabrics, and the textile fibers that make up those fabrics
    •     Cotton and other natural fiber items
    •     Spun silk for cartridge cloth
    •     Tarps, tents, and related fabric parts
    •     Woolen yarns and fibers, or products produced using wool
    •     Woven silk and silk blends

    Berry Compliant materials can also include equipment made up of or used in the production of these domestically made textiles.

    Berry Compliance: Why It Matters

    Since 1941, the Berry Amendment has been protecting the textile industry from foreign competition. Berry Compliance continues to encourage DoD contractors to prioritize domestic purchases.

    For commercial and industrial entities or consumers not doing business with the DoD, being aware of which products are Berry Compliant can help them support the production of U.S.-generated goods should they prefer to do so.

    Berry Compliant Fabrics

    There are numerous domestic materials that are Berry Compliant. These fabric types include:

    Mil-Spec Fabrics

    Mil-Spec fabrics comply with a wide array of military standards based on the type of material and intended application. These mission-specific fabrics utilize light- or heavy-weight fibers and a high-quality weave, with uses in parachute systems, bags, netting, covers, linings, and more. Along with standard natural and synthetic fabrics, custom-engineered options are available.

    Parachute Fabrics

    Military and commercial organizations need high-quality parachute fabrics they can rely on for failure-proof applications such as aerial delivery. These materials pass testing at domestic government-certified locations.

    Commercial Fabrics

    Compliant commercial fabrics come in a wide range of weight and weave options for use in car covers, clothing linings, duffel bags, tents, parachutes, and more. Specialty fabric finishes are also available, including anti-static and fire-retardant coatings as well as antimicrobial treatments. Some materials have an nIR spectral reflectance finish, cloaking the wearer from infrared technology detection.

    CORDURA® Fabrics

    CORDURA® fabrics are available in various weights and Mil-Spec, Berry, and even nIr compliant options. Because of its durability, this material is often used in making bags, ideal for backpacks, luggage, and duffels. Flags and banners, outdoor clothing and gear, wallets, and windsocks are some additional examples of products that make use of these textiles. Again, manufacturers can add finishes for benefits such as water resistance.

    Berry Compliant Fabrics From HLC Industries

    At HLC Industries, Inc., we guarantee that our fabrics are domestically produced and compliant with the Berry Amendment. We offer Mil-Spec compliance and high-quality fabric solutions, along with fabric finishing services to help customize materials to your specifications. Our company is an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer of 1.1-ounce to 12.0-ounce weights of nylon woven fabrics. If you’re in need of Berry Compliant fabrics or are looking to buy our American-made products, contact us today or request a quote to start your order.